BEN HARPER AND THE BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA - LIVE AT THE APOLLO


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Album: Live at the Apollo
Artist: Ben Harper and the Blind Boys of Alabama
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It must be said that Ben Harper probably cares about music more than anyone else alive. He prides himself of his bootleg collection, playing tribute to his peers and influences and straight up feeling it when he plays live. Maybe I am reviewing this album because summer is upon us, it is Festival Time, and Ben is headlining the Zooma tour that is coming to the TeeDot. More likely, I just respect Ben Harper as a musician, and know he is one artist that won't phone in a live performance and the fact he is putting out another live album means he believes the performance is soild.

Ben's last studio album was a gospel album (There Will Be a Light) that featured himself and the Innocent Criminals, and the legendary Blind Boys of Alabama. The album netted two grammys, and reinforced Ben's diversity as an artist. The powerful soul songs were a refreshing change to all the new wave crap that seemed to be coming out every weak.

This album is a live performance at the legendary Apollo Theatre in NYC. The album consists of songs from the studio album, plus some of Ben's solo work. Perhaps the most obvious emotion Ben expresses is respect. He is genuinely thrilled to be sharing the stage with the Blind Boys, and creating soul music. This shows in the songs. Highlites include the title track from the studio album, Church on Time and I Shall Not Walk Alone. This album takes the beautiful melodies of the studio tracks, and adds the emotion of a live performance and an audience. If you liked the studio album, Ben Harper, or soul music, this album will not disappoint you.


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